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Legalize it or not? It's one of the big discussions going on in this country today and will impact everyone, especially the younger generation. So the question is, when weighed out, is it more beneficial or bad for your health? Lets look at some of the pros and cons.

Marijuana is one of the most commonly used drugs though it can also be one of the more easily detected drugs. Nearly everyone who rejects the legalization of Marijuana is biased towards it because of some outside source impacting them, even false teaching. Nearly everywhere you go, schools especially, they say how Marijuana is a killer and describe it in very harsh words, using rumors as facts.

Well the fact is, most of the rumors spread about this substance are totally false.
-"Marijuana kills more brain cells than alcohol."
 True? No. There are no proven studies that show that THC, the substance in Marijuana causing the high effect, kills brain cells. The closest study to this was memory loss, and still it is unproven.

-"Marijuana is highly addictive" - Marijuana has nothing like cigarettes have, called Nicotine. anyone can grow an addiction to anything. What is the other huge problem the world is facing today - obesity. What causes obesity? Well, it many cases, people become dependant(or ADDICTED) on/to food. So yes, anyone can theoretically become addicted to Marijuana, but the risk of addiction is the same if not less than the risk of become addicted to chicken or broccoli.

Another huge, very misunderstood myth is psychological side effects. Schools, police, parents, everyone - teach that marijuana will make you go crazy. I wish I was there to say to these people and organizations, where is the evidence? There is none. Pulling someone with dementia off the street and asking if they've ever smoked a joint isn't research. It's not even coincidence. Almost everyone has used or will use Marijuana some time in their life, or at least run into someone using it, so even if 1,000 of the 50,000 users have some illness, this doesn't mean that there's any relationship. People with illness want to have a good time too. Maybe they're trying to escape the illness they harbor.

The myth that gets me absolutely steaming pissed is: Marijuana causes more damage to your lungs than cigarettes, cigars, or other legal smokes. This is 100% false.
There is a fine line between smoking marijuana and getting high off of it.
Smoking, obviously, no matter what it is your smoking, whether it be Marijuana, cigarettes, or anything, is going to cause lung damage. So yes, if you SMOKE marijuana, the smoke can cause more damage than cigarettes because you may not use a filter. But this goes for anything. Marijuana isn't hurting your lungs. Smoke is.
The use of vaporizers would totally eliminate this, since there's nothing to damage your lungs, so what will the ACDE make up now? There should be much more public advertising of vaporizers for medical marijuana users.

What would legalizing Marijuana do, many poeople argue, and how will it help. Well, in many ways it would help. Marijuana is one of the most called for items on the black market. Everyone runs into pot sometime in their life; it's a multi-million probably even billion dollar business. So what would happen? The economy would probably boost within days. Every dime spent on weed (billions a year) could now go to the government, who badly needs money, as everyone can see. It may work for the government in other ways too, potentially slowing the black market, with such a less need for the drugs. Of course, it will still exist (I'm sure there'll be cheaper prices if you buy illegally), but it definately would eliminate most, and the drug lords of South America will lose a substantial amount. There are also so many other smaller ways it will help the government, so why would they not legalize it? Many argue, well the US would collapse with everyone smoking a joint on every corner. Not necessarily. Legalizing the drug for use doesn't mean they can't ban public use. Even if they had restrictions to on private property only, or something along those lines. It doesn't make much sense why they wouldn't and don't. I do think that the chain of states beginning to legalize Marijuana for medical use is a start, a slow start, but still a start.
Many people also bring up driving, and there's a simple answer to it. If alcohol is legal, and people drive, then whats's different about Marijuana? Studies show that one glass of wine impair your driving more than a joint anyway. And being drunk and high are so different. While drunk, your body is physically impaired. While high, the effects are different, and if compared, one would drive better while high than drunk anyway.

With so many unproven rumors and myths about this drug, and no substantial evidence to prove any of it, all there is to do is wait for research to flood in and let the answers uncover.  

ADD:
Comments have brung upon great new points, one particularly I forgot that I meant to add was criminal elements. Imagine how much money the US would save on drug confiscations, patrol for drug cartels, etc. MILLIONS of dollars saved JUST on general patrol of the drug. Now, even deeper than that, imagine how much violence it would reduce. Drug deals gone wrong, people dead and/or robbed, cops shot; all these incidences related to Marijuana busts or cartels would be eliminated.
And yet another point - What is America KNOWN for. What is everything we take pride in? FREEDOM. If this country is truly FREE, why can't we use one of mother natures best gifts? Why is it banned from purchase? Why is something that could be so useful, in so many ways, illegal? And why is America called free if they choose to make it illegal?

References include:

http://www.perkel.com/...

http://www.drugpolicy.org/...

http://legalizationofmarijuana.com/...

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Many thanks to these articles and authors!

Originally posted to Beatles24 on Mon May 03, 2010 at 05:18 PM PDT.

Poll

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| 89 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I've made the comparison (13+ / 0-)

    ...that any reasonably-stocked liquor store will sell you a lethal dose of alcohol for what--$30 or so?

    A lethal dose of cannabis must be baled and dropped on the victim from a height.

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Mon May 03, 2010 at 05:20:51 PM PDT

  •  Freedom (7+ / 0-)

    No worse than many other legal substance for you.  causes pleasure.  

    Being illegal drives the criminal elements.  

    Should be legal, regulated (e.g., no driving while high), and taxed.  

    •  ah, but pleasure in a puritanical society, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hilltopper, trashablanca

      is evil.

      Hence.........

      The real problem these people have with Marijuana, is twofold.

      1. It relaxes you.  Like Bill Hicks once said

      "They tell you pot-smoking makes you unmotivated. Lie! ... You just realize that it's not worth the fucking effort."

      .  That's why caffeine is so highly prized.  It makes people hyper, so they work faster and harder.

      1. Pot makes you question things.  Things that the established capitalistic culture doesn't WANT you to question.


      'The great religions are the ships. The poets are the lifeboats. Every sane person I know has jumped overboard.' - Hafiz

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon May 03, 2010 at 07:57:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Two things kill brain cells. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trashablanca

    Anoxia.  And organic solvents.  Like alcohol.

  •  Don't just push for legalization, push for (4+ / 0-)

    it to be mandatory that everyone use it. We move the frame, then "settle" for simple legalization. See how that works?

    I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

    by doc2 on Mon May 03, 2010 at 05:32:47 PM PDT

  •  "Imagine how much money the US would save..." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trashablanca, West Michigan Dem

    on drug confiscations, patrol for drug cartels, etc. MILLIONS of dollars saved JUST on general patrol of the drug."

    As soon as you realize that government is the biggest special interest group out there, then you will KNOW why legalization will probably never happen. Millions of people make very easy money off of the drug war -- including cops (who don't have to deal with actual violent crimes), lawyers, judges (hmmm, could it be that the justice system isn't neutral), jails ... the list is very long.

  •  I don't like that you write this with zero links. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gravlax, West Michigan Dem

    I heart marijuana and all, but this article doesn't really work without 'em, and I patently disagree with this "Marijuana is not addictive!" shit.

    I agree that it's probably less addictive than tobacco, and certainly less than alcohol, but it most definitely has addictive properties. It's classified as a hallucinogen.

    P.S. Totally down with vaporizers, though! Most excellent!

  •  I've been seriously looking into getting a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trashablanca

    vaporizer. As far as I can tell EZ-Vape is the best one I can find. Does anyone know anything about them to help me find a good one.

    "Jesus Christ was black, ronald reagan was the devil, and the government is lying about 9/11." Huey Freeman

    by cee4 on Mon May 03, 2010 at 05:52:21 PM PDT

  •  National Drug Control Strategy (Strategery?) (6+ / 0-)

    Last week, Newsweek released a leaked draft of the administration's oft delayed document, required by law to have been issued by last February.

    Included, this gem (HT talkleft)

    Keeping drugs illegal reduces their availability and lessens willingness to use them. That is why this Administration firmly opposes the legalization of marijuana or any other illicit drug. Legalizing drugs would increase accessibility and encourage promotion and acceptance of use. Diagnostic, laboratory, clinical, and epidemiological studies clearly indicate that marijuana use is associated with dependence, respiratory and mental illness, poor motor performance, and cognitive impairment, among other negative effects , and legalization would only exacerbate these problems.

    Let's find out if they really believe this.

    I hereby challenge Kerlikowski, or his boss, to a chess match for serious money, say $20,000, cash on the table. After 41 years of, by anyone's standard, heave use, why I MUST have suffered plenty of "cognitive impairment."

    (I've previously offered 2 of Kerlikowski's predecessors (Robert S. Dupont and William "High Stakes" Bennett, the same wager after their "cognitive impairment" remarks, both chickened out.)


    When Sheriff Arpaio asks for my papers, I'll hand him a pack of ZigZags.

    by ben masel on Mon May 03, 2010 at 05:52:58 PM PDT

    •  he says tomAto, I say tomAHto. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trashablanca

      One man's "cognitive impairment", is another man's enlightenment.

      When, oh when, will so-called "intelligent" societies outlaw actual bad acts, rather than what they fear might cause bad acts.

      Legalize it.  Regulate it.  Tax it.  Then if someone robs a convenience store, and he's found to have been high, then double his sentence.  But don't throw someone in jail because you're afraid he MIGHT commit a crime because he's smoked a weed.

      It just makes no fucking sense.


      'The great religions are the ships. The poets are the lifeboats. Every sane person I know has jumped overboard.' - Hafiz

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon May 03, 2010 at 08:08:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you want to see what legalization (7+ / 0-)

    looks like just come to Los Angeles right now. For less than $50 in scores of places around town you can get an "evaluation" by a doctor recommending that you use medical marijuana. This recommendation protects you from arrest for possession or growing up to six plants. With this recommendation, you can walk into one of literally hundreds, maybe over 1000, medical marijuana "dispensaries" in the city of LA alone (with many more in adjacent suburbs) that are basically just pothead candy stores: dozens of varieties, edibles, seeds, juvenile plants, paraphenalia, etc.

    And the thing is . . . the world has not fallen apart. Crime's down. Test scores are up. The pot shops have even contributed to the revival of a number of down-at-the-heels business districts.

    Not saying that the "nervous nellies" in the surrounding neighborhoods haven't made noises in protests, and now the city is trying to crack down, but all in all, legalization in LA has gone off without much of a hitch.

    Full legalization across the state is on the November ballot -- we'll see how that goes.

  •  And if vapors are still an issue- eat it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trashablanca, Beatles24

    Most people I talk to say they would gladly pay a tax if it were legal.

    I mean, what other demographic says that they want to give the government money?

    Don't start with : everyone will grow their own. There will be plenty of people who will buy the stuff in a store. And there will be plenty of people who will pay a tax for their plants willingly.

    Some people actually want the government to work.

    To whom it may concern: I am an American citizen. Not an American consumer. I am a human being, not a variable in the capitalist system.

    by FinchJ on Mon May 03, 2010 at 06:22:27 PM PDT

    •  i know someone (wink wink) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trashablanca

      who just made a batch of pot-oil for a friend who has a VERY painful lung disease.  She's going to cook with it, and hopefully get some relief.


      'The great religions are the ships. The poets are the lifeboats. Every sane person I know has jumped overboard.' - Hafiz

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon May 03, 2010 at 08:11:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Be careful with the smoke thing (4+ / 0-)

    So yes, if you SMOKE marijuana, the smoke can cause more damage than cigarettes because you may not use a filter.

    It would be more fair to point out that a recent UCLA study done on heavy marijuana smokers found them no more likely to develop lung cancer than the general population.

    It's a false equivalence anyway. I was a pack-a-day smoker a few years back. Sometimes, I would go one and a half or two packs in a day. That's a hell of a lot stuff to burn and inhale. If a cigarette contains 0.9 grams of tobacco (p. 69) then a pack of cigs has almost 2/3 of an ounce of tobacco. Am I ever going to smoke over a half ounce of weed a day for years on end? I would seriously doubt it.

    If someone needs to consume large quantities for medical or other reasons, then out of an abundance of caution, they should look to alternative delivery mechanisms. But the more casual user should not be led to believe that exposure to marijuana smoke is harmful when the data don't point that way.

    "We are stardust, we are golden, we are caught in the devil's bargain, and we got to get ourselves back to the garden." - Joni Mitchell

    by shaggies2009 on Mon May 03, 2010 at 07:50:01 PM PDT

  •  Peter Tosh said it best.......... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trashablanca

    Legalize it - don't criticize it
    Legalize it and i will advertise it

    Some call it tampee
    Some call it the weed
    Some call it Marijuana
    Some of them call it Ganja

    Legalize it - don't criticize it
    Legalize it and i will advertise it

    Singer smoke it
    And players of instruments too
    Legalize it, yeah, yeah
    That's the best thing you can do
    Doctors smoke it
    Nurses smoke it
    Judges smoke it
    Even the lawyers too

    Legalize it - don't criticize it
    Legalize it and i will advertise it

    It's good for the flu
    It's good for asthma
    Good for tuberculosis
    Even umara composis

    Legalize it - don't criticize it
    Legalize it and i will advertise it

    Bird eat it
    And they leave it
    Fowls eat it
    Goats love to play with it


    'The great religions are the ships. The poets are the lifeboats. Every sane person I know has jumped overboard.' - Hafiz

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon May 03, 2010 at 08:04:01 PM PDT

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